COLUMBIA, S.C. – It’s officially bye week at South Carolina.
For quarterback Perry Orth, that means it’s time to fine-tune his mechanics.
“I think my balance and alignment in my throwing … personally, just my footwork in the pocket and being balanced,” he said.
That’s coming off the 28-14 loss to Georgia on Sunday. It was a career day for the senior, who completed 26 of 36 passes for 288 yards.
“The numbers (versus Georgia), they didn’t look too bad,” Orth said. “There were a lot of things I could have done differently, a little more accurate passing, so guys can catch the ball and run instead of having to slow down and catch it.”
Not counting the games in which he had fewer than 3 throws, Orth’s 72 percent completion rate was the highest single-game figure in his career. The 288 yards and 26 completions were second only to his performance last year against The Citadel.
Orth told reporters on Tuesday that he’s still “growing” in Kurt Roper’s offense.
“It’s my first year in the system,” Orth said. “And I still have to learn what coach Roper wants from me.”
They’ll need to get on the same page as soon as possible. The Gamecocks enter the halfway point of the regular season at 2-4 (1-4 SEC).
To improve the second-half record, Orth said it will start with the right mental approach. That applies to everyone, not just him.
“It’s tough, but you’ve just got to believe that you’re going to get out of it,” Orth said. “It’s like playing baseball when you’re in a slump. The only way to get out of a slump is to just believe you’re going to get out of one, and that’s kind of what we’re in right now.
“We’re just in a rut right now, and we’ve got to believe that we’re capable of getting out of it, and I think we are.”
It helps that wide receivers Bryan Edwards and Deebo Samuel returned from their respective hamstring injuries against Georgia.
“I think we just feel a little more comfortable calling drop-back passes when they’re in,” Orth said. “I guess there are more options when they’re on the field because they can do more things. We’re happy to have them.”